Rally led by FitzMagic comes up short for Dolphins
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — For Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins, a last-second defeat meant progress.
The Dolphins (0-5) remained winless under rookie coach Brian Flores, while the Redskins (1-5) earned their first victory.
Still, it could have been worse — and often has been for the 2019 Dolphins.
“Moral victory — I don’t know if we believe in those,” Fitzpatrick said. “But it’s much more fun to be involved in a game like this than one when you look up and you’re losing by 40-plus points.”
In succession the Dolphins have been beaten by 49 points, 43, 25, 20 and 1. The latest loss was a close call because of Fitzpatrick, who replaced Josh Rosen at the start of the fourth quarter with Miami trailing 17-3.
Rosen will remain the starter, however, Flores said.
Fitzpatrick — known as FitzMagic because of his knack for the improbable even as a journeyman — led touchdown marches of 55 and 75 yards, with the second drive coming in the final 2:02. He threw for 132 yards in one quarter, with no sacks or interceptions, while Rosen threw for 85 yards in three quarters, with five sacks and two interceptions.
Rosen had no quarrel with being yanked by Flores.
“I’ve definitely got to get better,” Rosen said. ‘Flo’s’ job first and foremost is to win football games and I respect the decision. It’s my job to not put him in that position.”
Flores switched from Fitzpatrick to Rosen as his No. 1 QB after Week 2, but doesn’t plan another switch. He and the Dolphins want to find out whether Rosen is a potential franchise quarterback.
“Josh will continue to be the starter,” Flores said. “If we need that spark, Fitz has to go in.”
Neither Rosen, 22, nor Fitzpatrick, 36, has any complaint about how Flores is handling the quarterback situation.
“Above my pay grade,” Rosen said.
“Whatever my role is, I’m going to try to do it to the best of my ability,” Fitzpatrick said.
In Rosen’s defense, pass protection was awful when he was in the game. The Dolphins went into their two-minute offense with Fitzpatrick, and the Redskins dialed back their pass rush.
“He’s an experienced vet — a salty, savvy veteran coming in late in the game,” Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan said. “He came in there very cool and proceeded to obviously take advantage of some of our coverages.”
The Dolphins’ touchdowns were only their third and fourth this season, and their first points after halftime all year. From the sideline, Rosen applauded the increase in productivity.
“As a team, this is a step in the right direction,” Rosen said. “Personally, I may not say the same. Take it on the chin and continue to improve.”
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